This is the perfect analogy for the Wild's brand. Once proud, it has fallen, but no one expects it not to get back up again. And when it does? Look out.
Today, the Minnesota Wild sent out a link to a survey, asking fans to tell them a little bit about their impressions of the Wild brand. Being a good little follower, and a trained brand manager myself, I answered their questions. You should likely all go and help as well. Despite the fact that I am about to have some fun with it, this is actually extremely important for the people managing the Wild brand.
Be honest, and be fair. Leave the rest to us.
After the jump, we go through a few of the questions and give the answers we would give if the questions were asked in person, rather than on a survey form with limited interaction allowed. It's understandable. When setting up a survey, there really is only so much information you can provide.
We provide the rest. Enjoy.
When you hear "Minnesota Wild" what first comes to mind?
To be fair, the first thing that comes to mind is... "meh." After writing about the team for four years, not much has changed, and yet everything has changed. New players, new coaches, new brass, same results. We wait patiently for the kids to arrive, but right now, the team is very... "meh."
When it comes to the brand, it feels as though the team has become comfortable. Complacent. They know they are the pro hockey team in a hockey mad state, and all they need to do is open the doors. Which is really too bad, because the Wild have had some superb marketing in the past. Hopefully things ramp up again, and the funny and catchy marketing comes back.
Until they start winning, they're going to need it.
What is unique about the Minnesota Wild?
Well, they have the sweet green thirds that no one else has. And the red& green homes unis. Oh, and the terrible roads that have fallen behind the curve. Other than that, not much. Three forwards, two d-men, and a goalie. Nothing much stands out as unique from any other NHL team.
How well does each of the following characteristics describe the Wild brand?
Our choices here are: Fresh, Community oriented, cool, Passionate, traditional, optimistic, fun-loving, humble, competitive, dependable, caring, genuine, family-friendly, friendly, tough, first-class, integrity, hardworking, & respectful.
The Wild, to be fair, are all of these things to different people. The community involvement of the team is beyond question. Different players and team personnel are pretty passionate. They are humble, family friendly, dependable (if you can depend on losing), and genuine.
The brand has become traditional, far from passionate, and what ever the opposite of fun-loving is. Stale? Now, the people behind the brand are some of the most fun-loving people I have ever met. Unfortunately, that passion and spirit has not come through the branding well in the past couple years. Maybe that is because they are overshadowed by the on ice product.
I checked the box for "hardworking," but I was disappointed to see there was nowhere to then apologize to Tom for doing so. Maybe next year.
Please rate your level of agreement with the following statements.
Wild fans can make a difference in the outcome of a game. Nah. That's up to the players on the ice. It is always nice when the players give the fans credit, but I know that when they are playing, they don't even know the fans are in the building.
Wild game nights are a fun time with friends. I would agree here. It's still a blast to go to the games. Win or lose.
The Minnesota Wild is involved in the community. 150% agree here.
Xcel Energy Center provides a family friendly atmosphere. Family friendly? Sure. Top of the market? Not anymore. New food options are needed, or the X is going to get left behind. Target Field needs to be used as the model.
What feeling or emotions do you experience in connection with the Wild brand?
See, and here is where the problem is. There is no emotion attached. None. Complete apathy with the brand. Very little is exciting about the brand. The future is bright, and the "Becoming Wild" series did a great job of showing that excitement. However, the games are not played in a convenient 8 part series that can be edited and tweked for viewing purposes.
In one man's opinion, the brand needs to latch on to the kids, start making them recognizable, and get exciting again.
If the Minnesota Wild were a car, what kind of car would it be?
In the future, which car would you prefer the Wild to be like?
"It's like giving crack to a charging rhino." Yes, please.
Do you feel the Wild is headed in the right direction?
On the ice? Yes. In branding? Knowing some of the people behind the scenes, I don't think they are going to sit idly by and be quiet. This survey was a great way to start, and to get a good feel for where they are. I just hope no one panics if complaints from other fan bases come in.
Appeal to your fans, screw everyone else.
Author's note: watch the entire video about the truck. Tell me you don't want to run through a wall by the end of it.